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Since childhood I have heard always that the Church is the Body of Christ and also the Bride, but it is that what the Bible is indicating?
First we must understand in a clear way the following terms here in question:
- From a primary but obsolete verb νύπτω nuptō (to veil as a bride; compare the Latin “nupto”, to marry); a young married woman (as veiled), including a betrothed girl; by implication, a son’s wife: – bride, daughter in law.
- Total KJV occurrences: 8
- Total KJV occurrences of the term “bride”: 14
- From G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively: – bodily, body, slave.
- Total KJV occurrences: 146
- Total KJV occurrences of the Term “Body of Christ”: 4
- From G3565; a bride groom (literally or figuratively): – bridegroom.
- Total KJV occurrences: 16
While during the Reformation time, in where Martin Luther and other great church leaders did their best to established and clarified the role and the effect of the Church in the believer’s life, it is also certain they fail to make very clear many points that had been the roots of today’s misunderstanding, misinterpretations, and in many instances the roots of many cults and heresies.
In today’s assemblies there is a lack of teaching the root of the Word of God to the followers of the Way, as it was under the beginning of the Church or assembly, even apostle Paul indicated that very clear in many instances such as in the epistle to the Colossians;
(28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
If you might remember, and just to mentioned, in the Book of Daniel in chapter 2 the image giving in a dream to the king Nebuchadnezzar indicates the fact that the feet were of a mixture of iron and clay. For long time and by many scholars and Bible’s enthusiasts, attribute this part of the image to the influence of the Roman empire / Catholic church in the human history, and it maybe so in part, (but after many years on this subject, not counting my many days and hours of every day in humble prayers) I feel this is a direct relation to the seven assemblies from the Book of Revelation and the times of Reformation, of course this is a subject for another time to discuses.
Lets continue; among the subjects that the time of the Reformation fail to clarified for the masses, and was kept in shadows of ignorance and traditions tough in this subject of the Body of Christ (this is the Church/Assembly) and the Bride of Christ (this is the New Jerusalem), as I am confident with the Holy Spirit guidance on the Word of Truth will be able to demonstrate.
I am obligated to mention in this Bible Study, the fact that, what I called “Israeltology” (this is the study of Israel in regard to the Gospel/Church and the Gentile). To me the Bible makes very clear the three types of identities the plan of God is directed to. That is; the Plan of Redemption for the People of Israel, the Plan of Salvation for the Gentiles/Believers/Followers of the Way, and the End Plan for the Non-Believer/Gentiles/Earth Dwellers (as they are called in the Book of Revelation). Three different entities with three different plans and choices. Once again this is subject for another time and another Bible Study.
Getting back on track;
The “Body of Christ” is a term that only appear under the New Testament, this does not mean that the term “body” is not mentioned under the Old Testament, in fact on the KJV the word “body” is mentioned 146 times.
It is imperative to mentioned that it is not but until the letter to Romans that the Apostle Paul mentioned the “Body of Christ” as an indication of the way for the Followers of the Way to received freedom from the slavery or bondage of the LAW and as a result the freedom to married one another through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus in the Cross.
Later on on the 1st letter to the Corinthians 10:16 the Apostle also make a clear reference to the followers of the Lord and compared the bread in the communion as of the Lord indicates to be “His Body”, doing so in a form of question, more indicative of the direct relation of the Believer in Christ to be a member of the Body of Christ.
In the same letter but in chapter 12 verse 27, Paul declared without any possibility of misunderstanding the notion that the Church of the Lord is in fact the Body of Christ.
In the Book of the Ephesians 4:12 the Apostle himself declares the main reason behind each believer to become part of the Body of Christ, and this is due to the feeling of ownership, as he expressed in the same verse of the same book before mentioned, and it said the following;
Eph 4:8-16 KJV
(8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
(10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
(16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
As a result, we as part of the Body of Christ must search for:
- The perfection of each and every member of the Church/Believer/Follower of the Way,
- for the work of
- reading and searching the Word of the Truth and its knowledge through the Holy Spirit
- comforting each others with the Word of the Gospel of the Lord at all times
- preaching, teaching and exhorting(sometimes rebuking) with the Word of the Lord
- for the Edification of the Body of Christ
and there is a key word used for this exhortation from the Apostle, and that is “until” the following:
- We all come to
the unity of the Faith
- Hebrews 11:1
- the knowledge of the Son of God
And by doing this, to become a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (in other words, to be capable to become spiritual adults and not becoming dependent of the milk but instead capable of nurturing the body with the meat that contains the nutrients for a healthy spiritual growth). Please read below;
- Heb_5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
- Heb_5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
- 1Pe_2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
As you keep reading in the Book of the Ephesians in chapter 4 verses 14-16, the reasons are clear, and that for we as part of the Body of Christ to be capable to grow founded in the Truth of His Word for us a members of His Body not to be moved by the winds of heresies, false teachers, traditions without biblical foundations and so on and even more so with the understanding the Christ is the Head of the Body.
How glorious is to know, that as members of that Body of Christ, we will be not just part of the weeding with the Bride but join together in marriage with the Bride.
And now, here comes the “Bride”…
Throughout all the Bible the people of Israel are seeing as the Bride of the Lord God. And due to her infidelity with idols and sins, the Lord God feel, she (Israel) had been unfaithful to Him, for example;
In the Book of;
- 49:18, 61:10, 62:5
- 2:32, 7:34, 16:9, 25:10, 33:11
- 18:23, 21:2, 21:9-10, 22:17
Among all the above verses above, I like for you to pay attention to the one in the Book of Revelation 21:2, and it said;
- Rev 21:2 KJV
- (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Notice how specific the Apostle John is in his description of what he saw;
- the holy city
- The New
- coming down from God out of Heaven
- prepared as a bride
- adorned for her Husband (Jesus Christ)
- The New Jerusalem
And also at Revelation 21:9-10;
- Rev 21:9-10
(9) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
(10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
- The angel is showing to the Apostle John the “Bride”
- the Lamb’s
- Great City
- Holy Jerusalem
- descending from Heaven
(17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
- The Spirit say Come
- The Bride say Come (Israel/New Jerusalem)
- The hearer say Come (The Believer/Follower of the Way/Body of Christ)
In conclusion, I hope you can also say with me as the hearer of the Word of Truth, Yes Come Lord Jesus, Yes Come! Lets celebrate the wedding of the Lamb with the New Jerusalem as His Bride, and us as Followers of the Way and as the Body of Christ!
The Church is the Body of Christ
The New Jerusalem is the Bride…